Monday Memories revisits the inaugural Sundance screenings in Ogden

Wednesday , January 28, 2015 - 8:26 AM

Rebecca Ory Hernandez

Seventeen years ago, Ogden became a new location in which the public could watch the prestigious Sundance Film Festival screenings.

No longer did locals have to brave the traffic and Hollywood crowds in Park City to see screenings of the much-buzzed-about indie films, but could experience the excitement of debuts in the restored, atmospheric Peery’s Egyptian Theater.

In fact, the Sundance Film Festival was the first public event to take place in the beautifully appointed venue after it’s grand opening in 1997.

”Peery’s Egyptian Theater continues to be the only space in which Sundance films are shown in Ogden,“ according to the Sundance Press Office.

Five films were shown, the first of which was “The House of Yes,” directed by Mark Waters and starring Parker Posey, which screened Monday, January 20, 1997 at 7 PM.

“The House of Yes” trailer on Youtube can be seen below.

Posy was recognized with a Special Jury Award for Acting. The Standard-Examiner quoted one viewer as stating, ”Well, that was...different,“ when asked about the film after the show. Posey has quite the fan base, and still gets comments like these on Twittter from followers 17 years later:

Parker has also been bestowed the nickname “indie queen” after playing in dozens of independent films. Here is her Sundance Film Festival roster. 

“The House of Yes” was screened as recently as last November at the New York City Library for a Saturday Movie. If you’re interested in seeing “The House of Yes,” it’s available on Netflix. Posey’s character, who is obsessed with Jackie O, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her brother who is coming home for Thanksgiving. She was not prepared for him to bring along his fiancé, played by Tori Spelling. It is quickly apparent that her obsession with the Kennedy’s is nothing compared to her obsession with her brother.

In 2013, Neflix claimed it as a fan favorite. Reddit fans agreed.

"House of Yes", twisted dark comedy, Parker Posey, Tori Spelling, Freddie Prinze Jr. One of m... http://t.co/O3lii4a3Fl#reddit#netflix

— Reddit NetflixBestOf (@r_NetflixBestOf) May 3, 2013

Other stars in the film included Josh Hamilton, Tori Spelling, Rachael Leigh Cook, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Genevieve Bujold.

Other films listed that first year included: “Love Walked In,” “Brassed Off,” “Riding the Rails” and “Ulee’s Gold.” The Standard-Examiner’s Michael Burkett wrote an article about the 300 plus crowd gathering to purchase tickets that night before the show, and Roger Thill, who clearly knew irony when he summed it up best, “The Sundance Film Festival is probably the biggest thing to hit town in years, and its whole purpose is to celebrate the kind of movies that local theaters would never think of showing because they think there’s no audience to support them.

Well, what about all of these people?“” the Ogdenide asked with a nod toward his fellow ticket holders, all of whom were queued up for Monday night’s Sundance premiere at Peery’s Egyptian Theater.

Do you have photographs of standing in line or before the screenings during the 1997 Sundance Film Festival? If so, share them with us for possible inclusion in the gallery via visuals@standard.net.

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